Activating Mount Ojibway W8M/UP-059 - Isle Royale NP - May 22 2019

I am planning a solo backpack trip on the East side of Isle Royale in Lake Superior which will include an attempt at activating Mt Ojibway W8M/UP-059 on May 22. Because of the remoteness of the island, this summit has only been activated once before by Scott WA9STI back in 2017.

My attempt will come on day 3 of my backpack trip, and as such, it is difficult to pin down an exact on-the-air time as activation will depend on distance progress and of course weather- all things subject to variation in the backcountry. Rudimentary alert is posted. It’s been particularly wet and cold this spring so I’ve tried to set distance goals appropriately for conditions and hauling the additional weight of radio gear and batteries.

All spotting help is appreciated. I will likely be activating on my way to next camp which will limit time on summit, but I’ll stick as long as possible. Planning on 40M, 20M SSB, running 20W with an end fed random wire.

Hope to meet you on the air for this rare two pointer!

Jason, KE0FKE

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That is going to be a great trip to activate Mt Ojibway while backpacking on ISRO. I consider my activation there to be one of my favorites and I always mention it when giving a SOTA presentation. If you have been following the NPS relocating of 13 wolves this past fall and winter to add to the 2 long time canines on the island, you may know that according to the latest survey, there are now 2060 moose in residence. While you may not see any wolves, you might find their tracks and should be able to meet Bullwinkle. As per my description on the SOTA information page, I was able to spot myself via APRS2SOTA. I also listed several repeaters that I was able to access including 146.655 MHz (PL= 151.4) in Grand Portage, MN which is linked to the wide coverage Boundary Waters system where someone might be able to spot you. I am still at my cabin in Eagle River, WI so will look for you.

If you want to read two good mystery novels about ISRO on your boat trip to and from the island, check out Nevada Barr’s “Winter Study” and “A Superior Death.” Barr had been a NPS ranger and her descriptions of places on ISRO are very accurate.

Scott WA9STI


That sounds great Scott, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve seen very few wolves in the backcountry, but it’s always a treat. If I do see a moose- and odds seem to be getting better all the time- it will be my first one. It’s the calving season so I’ll be on the alert for a mother and calf so I can give them plenty of room!

I get sea sick so the ferry over will be interesting. I can’t read when in motion, and I might be…occupied…so I’ll save the books for when I get back. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m planning to get a spot out via satellite messenger. That’s a bit cumbersome so I’ll likely rely on the chasers to help a little when I change bands. I’m just taking the FT-817 so no APRS, but I might make use of the Keweenaw Co Repeater Association machine.

Much to my disappointment, I need to cancel the planned activation of Mt Ojibway. At this time of the year, it’s just more gear than I can carry. As I packed up the full kit this morning the weight is 75 lbs which is more than the ferry will allow and likely more weight than I can huck for a week by myself.

I’m still doing the trip, but I’m afraid it will need to be without HF. I’ll be back with a new plan (Sherpa?), or maybe when the weather is warmer and I can safely ditch some kit.

Jason, KE0FKE

Sorry to hear about your cancellation but to quote a line from what I believe is from one of Clint Eastwood’s movies, “A man has to know his limitations.” I was wondering how the WX was going to be on ISRO because of the heavy rain and wind here in Northern WI the past two days. If you are able to just take an HT and solicit a 2 meter simplex contact through the repeaters you could access, you could get an activation for Mt Ojibway. One chaser contact will not get you the 2 point credit but you can say that you did a SOTA activation there.

Scott WA9STI